Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

An evaluation of quality in compositions for school band (Grades III and IV): A regional study
by Miller, Jeffrey Lee, II, Ph.D., The Florida State University, 2013, 184; 3596545
Abstract (Summary)

The current study was designed to examine the question of quality as it relates to school band music composed for the performance levels of Grade III and IV. This was accomplished across two concurrent studies. The purpose of the primary study was to: (a) compare state prescribed lists for common compositions, (b) to examine the opinions of expert middle school band directors regarding the quality of those common compositions (grades III & IV), and (c) to identify a select pool of meritorious compositions. The purpose of the secondary study was to: (a) examine the opinions of prominent college band directors regarding the quality of the same list of literature evaluated by middle school band directors, and (b) to identify a select pool of meritorious compositions. The overall purpose of the combined surveys was to establish a select list of compositions known to both expert middle school and college band directors that are recognized for their meritorious quality and may be of use to educators of all levels.

Participants (N = 64) were expert middle school ( n = 32) and college (n = 32) band directors who completed an online survey consisting of three sections: (a) Demographic Data, (b) Evaluation of Compositions, and (c) Suggested Compositions for Further Study. Analysis of responses found that all directors rated each of the 189 compositions and that a strong level of agreement of the rated level of quality was present within subjects. However, when compared, there was a statistically significant difference showing a wider range of quality ratings assigned by college band directors. Further analysis revealed a list of 32 compositions which were known by five or more evaluators and possessed a minimum of 79 percent of the total points each composition could receive. As before, analysis of responses found a strong level of agreement of the rated level of quality within subjects and a statistically significant difference in the ratings assigned by each group. This final list establishes a collection of wind band compositions which are among the finest grade III and IV compositions known by the expert panel of evaluators. Works on this list represent many, if not all, compositions which should be familiar to all conductors, instrumental music educators, and their students.

Compositions suggested for further study (N = 72) were self-identified by researchers as grade III or IV compositions that were not included as part of the present study. No attempt to state the quality of these works is made by the researcher and therefore should be investigated in future studies. Implications, additional findings, and suggestions for future research are discussed.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Dunnigan, Patrick
Commitee: Jimenez, Alexander, Kelly, Steven, VanWeelden, Kimberly
School: The Florida State University
Department: Music
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-A 75/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Music, Music education
Keywords: Band, Compositions, Quality
Publication Number: 3596545
ISBN: 978-1-303-43348-1
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